BACKGROUND OF MAGNET SCHOOLS IN DISTRICT 197
Garlough Environmental Magnet School has been operational as a magnet school since 2007, making it School District 197's first magnet. Garlough was formed in partnership with Dodge Nature Center, and offers the same core curriculum as the district’s other elementary schools but with a nature-based theme integrated into every class. Garlough has gained numerous state and national recognitions, including being named a National Magnet School of Excellence in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Encouraged by Garlough's success and seeking ways to offer parents more school choices, District 197 applied for and received a federal magnet grant to develop three new magnet programs, starting in 2010. This grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) provided funding for establishing Heritage E-STEM Magnet School, Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School and Moreland Arts & Health Sciences Magnet School. These schools' magnet themes were selected after extensive study by school staff as well as surveys and focus groups with current and prospective parents throughout the district.